Enhancing the sense of community and learning experience using self-paced instruction and peer tutoring in a computer-laboratory course
AbstractIn its second decade of education reform and its third cycle of national ICT master plans, Thailand struggles to transform its aspirations into practice. This paper chronicles three decades of Thailand's ICT national plans and their relation to education reform. It also discusses the effect of global trends, Asian cultures, and Thai cultures on teaching and learning in higher education. After discussion of existing literature on technology integration in Thailand higher education, this study proposes alternative classroom instructional strategies in a large computer laboratory course, using self-paced learning and peer tutoring. The strategies are grounded in constructivist learning theory which can foster a sense of classroom community, and thereby promote learning. The Classroom Sense of Community Indexwas utilised to measure student perceptions of classroom connectedness, learning, and community in traditional and alternative instructional approaches. Results indicated significant differences in two indices: connectedness and community. Although there was no significant difference in the learning index between the two groups, descriptively the scores were higher for the alternative instructional approaches group. The results imply that the proposed instructional choices have the potential to foster a sense of community and support learning.
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